Who Inspires You? – Fashion Edition

Words by Libbi Kettle

As someone born with wild curly hair, there is one blonde, curly-haired icon that has become the heart of my style aesthetic: the Carrie Bradshaw. A 90s icon within a decade which heavily influenced my clothing choices, Bradshaw is known for her mixing of vintage with designer. Ranging from the iconic blush pink tank-top and white tutu in the opening credits of Sex and the City, to the infamous newspaper Christian Dior dress from series 3. She is notorious for her mix-matched patterns that complement each other so well, which truly showcase a unique look formed by the creative minds of Sex and the City’s costume designers Molly Rogers and Danny Santiago. In every episode, her outfits stand out.

 Ever since I first witnessed her quirky, bold, and colourful palette, it began filtering into my own style. Before Carrie, I dressed simplistically and in what I believed would allow me to ‘fit in’. And whilst I can’t deny I do like to follow some fashion trends, since witnessing her confidence in her outfits I decided to dress how I wanted. I went from my holy trinity of navy blue, black, and white, onto more vibrant fabrics. Carrie is never afraid to float about New York in her fashionably brave ensembles, such as her Vivienne Westwood Emerald skirt with a twist, (this being a fluffy white back at the hem). Carrie taught me to embrace individuality in my style. I’ve also found, since reaching young adulthood, that my sense of style has certainly come a long way from where it was only a year ago. I am much more confident now and I certainly have Miss Bradshaw to thank for that.

Her ‘out-there’ accessories inspired many of my recent purchases, especially bandana scarfs which I adore. Carrie is a statement piece herself, and whilst many of her outfits are far upon the reach of my student budget, her bohemian/chic aura is something that I try to mirror myself. One of my favourite boho-looks is from series 2, where at the Hamptons beach party Carrie rocks up in striped sarong, a gorgeous animal print boob tube, and an orange cowboy hat. Not quite the classic, elegant stereotype of a Hamptons party which made me love it even more. Carrie dubs herself as a ‘Katie Girl’, the quirky character with wild curly hair played by Barbara Streisand in The Way We Were (1973), who the male protagonist leaves because she isn’t ‘perfect’ enough. As Carrie and her friends say over a couple of cosmos, there are the Katie Girls, and then there are the Carol girls. Both beautiful and stylish and being either is great. But like Carrie, I am definitely a ‘Katie Girl’, especially in my style.

Another iconic look from Carrie has to be her fabulous winter coats that make many reoccurring appearances and go with almost every outfit. My personal fav, a maxi faux fur in a beige shade, inspired my own purchase of a black maxi coat. A year ago, I was window shopping, (which especially since joining uni and living close to St David’s, has become a regular occurrence), and came across an Urban outfitters black maxi coat that I instantly loved. I scraped together my remaining Christmas and  job money, and went for it. And, just as Carrie’s, it certainly elevates my outfits. Especially so when it’s colder and I still want to wear my brightly coloured midi dress. I wear it all the god damn time.

Speaking of things I wear all the time, I live in my Doc Martens. Although Carrie was more a heel lover, her adoration for her shoes is certainly how I feel about my Docs. But that could also be because they cost a fortune.

Since I first binged the fashionable series, Sex and The City certainly taught me another fashion lesson that Carrie used often when she was heartbroken again by Mr. Big. Your outfit can be used as a revenge statement. Many of her looks can be considered as these, but there is one in particular that always comes out on top. The cut-slip, flowing, midi revenge dress. Also coming from series 2, and in the episode after the iconic cowboy look, she struts down the streets of the Big Apple after leaving Big’s engagement party. I remember first watching this moment and thinking WOW. THE POWER SHE HOLDS. It was one of those fan girl moments. And at the time, I had just escaped a toxic relationship where I’d been controlled in what I could/couldn’t wear. I was at a stage where I was free to dress how I desired. Wearing these cropped tops, low-waisted flare jeans, and colourful mini dresses in front of my ex felt extremely liberating. Watching SATC during this period of my life was almost perfectly timed, and as I watched Carrie look stunning in her outfits after years of the suppression of my own clothing choices, it made me realise this is how I want my style to be. I want to be ranging from a combination of low waisted cargos and a colourful tank top to glamorous jumpsuits and dresses.

And, for the past year, I’ve been filling my wardrobe with these items. Although my version is more Student Carrie, she is my all-time inspiration. Wear what you want, when you want. And be creative. And whilst I’m still learning to be more confident in my choices, I’m certainly getting there.